On October 13th, the AUN clubhouse was the place to be as new staff and faculty members made their way to the venue for a warm welcome gala.
Held once every session, this event is how the university celebrates new additions to the AUN family and introduces them to the culture of the host community. For the 2017 academic year, 96 new employees hired since October 2016 were honored at the colorful celebration ably organized by the Human Resources and Planning Department staff, led by AVP Nourah Bamalli.
In her welcome remarks, President Dekle who was also one of the recently appointed staff in attendance remarked:
“I am new too and I am happy to be here. It is an exciting time to be in the American University of Nigeria. We are going to learn together, and our brothers and sisters who have been here longer will be integrating us into their community. “
As part of the program, Senior Director, Marketing & Public Relations Yusuf Muhammad, gave a talk on understanding the culture of the host community, beginning with brief information on the rich history and culture of Yola, Adamawa state before proceeding to discuss AUN and its values.
The rich heritage and culture of Adamawa state was further showcased by two traditional dances performed by talented dancers from the Adamawa Cultural Council. With smiles on their faces, the dancers enchanted the crowd with their moves that told stories embodying the essence of the Adamawa representation.
To further create a lasting bond of friendship, a more intimate atmosphere was created for the new employees to share a personal depiction of their first experience in Yola. As a result of the diversity that the university possesses, each member had an experience that was different from others. In his experience, Dr. Cornelius Pratt, a new professor at the Communications and Multimedia Department, from Temple University, Philadelphia, expressed his joy:
“Yola is indeed an excellent case study of the danger of a single story. When I made up my mind to come to Yola, a lot of my friends, including my boys were skeptical. But in light of my knowledge in the danger of a single story I convinced myself in giving it a shot and I am so glad I’m here. I keep writing to my friends in the US reminding and reiterating the facts of the dangers of a single story.”
The event continued with a Wazobia fashion show to showcase the diversity of Nigerian culture which included outfits traditionally worn by different ethnic groups.
In his closing remarks, the Provost Professor Muhammadou Kah, a returning foundation faculty, said:
“The diversity that was shared with us is amongst us here and it will make our university stronger and better. It will also ensure that the leaders that will emerge from this university will embrace diversity and lead this continent forward and be part of a global community. On behalf of the President and community I say thank you to HR and everyone else for coming.”
Attendees were all smiles as they mingled with each other and were treated to a dinner.
By Ebiuwairo Uwagboe